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Exiled German-speaking intellectuals in Southern California: Leonhard Frank

During the 1930s and 1940s, many German Jews and intellectuals fled Nazi Germany. This LibGuide provides information about German-speaking intellectuals who found refuge in Southern California

Leonhard Frank

Leonhard Frank (1882-1961)

Leonhard Frank began his artistic career studying painting and working as a commercial artist in Munich. He then turned his talents to writing and moved to Berlin. His first novel, Die Räuberband (The Robber Band; 1914), awarded the prestigious Fontane-Prize, illustrates his belief in the strength of individuals and hope for a socialist society. During World War I his pacifistic ideas forced him to emigrate to Switzerland (1915-18). After the war, Frank returned to Munich, then moved again to Berlin where he lived until 1933. The National Socialists banned Frank's writings, forcing him to once again emigrate to Switzerland; here he lived until 1938 when he moved to France. Unfortunately, Frank was captured and interned several times in France before he was able to flee Europe via Lisbon to the United States.

In Los Angeles Leonhard Frank lived at 6500 Yucca Street in Hollywood. While Thomas Mann was writing Doktor Faustus, Leonhard Frank played a crucial role listening to and discussing Mann's novel with him.

Frank returned to Germany in 1950; his last important work, Links, wo das Herz ist (1952; Heart on the Left) was published in 1952.

Years in Southern California: 1940-1950.


Autorenlexikon deutschsprachiger Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts. Edited by Manfred Brauneck. Reinbeck bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1991.

Biographisches Lexikon zur Weimarer Republik. Edited by Wolfgang Benz and Hermann Graml. Munich: C.H. Beck, 1988.

Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Thomas Mann Tagebücher 28.5.1946 - 31.12.1948. Edited by Inge Jens. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1989.

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Michaela Ullmann
Michaela Ullmann Head, Instruction & Assessment